There is any number of different groups of people who share a common condition or set of traits that has put them at odds with the workings of the world. Many of these groups have had long histories of injustices perpetrated on them by society in part or as a whole.
There are other groups in which the manner of how they are ill considered in society is so deeply ingrained in attitude that their plight can hardly be recognized. One of these unrecognized categories is that of individuals who are childless.
The impression within society seems to be that parenthood reflects a special dignity and deserves certain privileges over those who are not blessed with children.
A term used often is “family values.” The word “value” is often implemented in regard to many things to suggest a worth beyond an opinion. I guess people like me have “single values.”
Showcasing the appearance of family values is often done by politicians. When running for office candidates may parade their children along with their spouse onto the stage. This would suggest that some politicians feel that there is a distinctive credibility associated with those who engage in the act of procreation. For certain other politicians it also is convenient that there are housekeepers and pool boys passing through their premises for the times when what they extol as traditional family life gets a little tiresome.
On a more subtle level the bias applied toward childless individuals is often reflected in everyday attitudes.
When something unexpected comes up at the office and consequently overtime is required, someone generally makes the proclamation, “Well, I can’t stay because I have to get home to my kids.” The lofty tone in their voice can be heard as if their excuse is so noble that it dare not be questioned. In such a circumstance it is presumed that one of the childless heathens who work in the office should be able to stay late and deal with the issue.
On almost every date I have ever been on with a woman who has children I have heard, “My kids come first.” The implication with this remark is that this woman has something important to attend to in her life and I do not. I lead a worthless life devoid of meaning and purpose. I have no relationships with my parents, relatives, or friends that could possibly compare to her home life.
I am fully aware of the responsibilities and sacrifices that come with parenthood. However, we all experience life in different ways. Whether it is by design or fate, not all of us find the path to happiness through parenthood and we are certainly not the lesser for it.